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YUSU Back the Rent Strike


  • 04/01/2021 - Working On
35

To YUSU,
The York Student Solidarity Network (YSSN), have called a RENT STRIKE in protest against the Universities' failure to protect the physical and mental wellbeing of both staff and students - instead bleeding as much money as possible from us with rip-off rent and extortionate tuition fees for a course we could have done from home.

We act in solidarity with the thousands of students at the University of Manchester, the University of Bristol, and an unstoppable wave of other universities across the country who are withholding rent or plan to withhold the next instalment. We have the support of the University and College Union (UCU), the National Union of Students (NUS), and the York Trade Union Council of Action (York TUC). We are calling for on-campus students to withhold their rent for the second term due on the 31st of January, totalling £8 million, until our demands are met. We demand:
1. Financial Reimbursement
2. Protect our physical and mental health
3. People's Assembly Now

We call upon YUSU to back our Demands and support the Rent Strike. We need a Union that will fearlessly represent us now more than ever, and we anticipate working closely with you in the interests of students and staff.

Solidarity!
York Student Solidarity Network

Submitted by LUCY WALSH

Student Leader Feedback

Patrick O'donnell, Union President
Patrick O'donnell
Union President,

Thank you for your submission. I am very aware of the financial pressures upon students at this time, especially in a period of lockdown. YUSU is working with the University, City of York Council and the Government to secure greater financial support for students. YUSU officers have secured an 8-week 'get out clause' for exiting University accommodation contracts, although in practice, the turnaround time is much shorter. We have also secured rent refunds for those students who live on-campus and are unable to return through any fault of their own. We are working with partners across the City, as well as other students' unions to look at how we can support students in private rented accommodation. Our overriding aim as officers is to protect students' incomes so we are engaging at all levels (estate agents, Council, private landlords, the Government, housing campaigners) to see a joined-up approach to tackling rising rents and to get support during the pandemic. We are committed to working with the University to ensure that the rights of everyone in our University community are protected. We are currently consulting on how best to support students and to address the issues of rent strikes and tuition fees. We recognise there are many different experiences for different students, and we would welcome your views here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeMJ5cHhyepwmHiLR2crzM-ZAis0Nx9sfXlq_Ym2bTrvxh0_w/viewform

Patrick O'donnell, Union President
Patrick O'donnell
Union President,

Thank you for your submission. I recognise the really tough challenges that students in York and across the country are currently facing in terms of rising rents, coupled with reduced incomes as a result of the pandemic. On the issue of accommodation, we have lobbied the University since the autumn term to provide rent rebates to students who are unable to return to their on-campus accommodation. Earlier this week, the University announced their intention to do this which I welcome. However, many students who may have already returned, and those living off-campus will not benefit. We are working nationally with other students' unions to lobby the Government for meaningful financial assistance for all students. We are currently consulting students on the issue of rent strikes, finances and tuition fees and we want to hear your ideas. You can find this consultation here, which will help us to decide YUSU's stance on rent strikes: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeMJ5cHhyepwmHiLR2crzM-ZAis0Nx9sfXlq_Ym2bTrvxh0_w/viewform We are hosting a webinar with the Vice-Chancellor on Student Life & Finances which I wold encourage all those interested to attend. Students can sign up via the above link.

YUSU Student Voice Team, YUSU
YUSU Student Voice Team
YUSU,

Congratulations, your idea has passed the initial student vote! The Ideas Forum has categorised your idea as a ‘Policy proposal’ which means it is a substantive idea which would benefit from wider in-depth student consultation. This student consultation will be used to determine whether your idea becomes YUSU Policy. The idea has been assigned to a sabbatical officer to lead on, who will be in touch on this platform to update you on the plan to consult students.

YUSU Student Voice Team, YUSU
YUSU Student Voice Team
YUSU,

Thank you for your submission. This will now be put live for a student vote for 30 days. If it has received 25 net positive votes at the end of the 30 days, a student leader will be in touch to work with you to move your idea forward.

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Patrick O'donnell

Union President